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Soap opera update

Posted by Bob on December 24, 1999, at 20:57:06

In reply to Hi Bob!, posted by Bob on December 12, 1999, at 21:55:19

Since I've been quiet for so long, I feel remiss in not keeping folks filled in ... so here goes:

RE: the job discrimination thing.
The more my employer's lawyers touch things, the slimier it gets. Hereafter, they will be refered to as the slimeballs.

The EEOC delivered my charge sometime in early December. My employers referred the charge to mediation. The EEOC's mediation unit got the case, and then slimeballs replied that there really was no issue to mediate, but they'd be happy to discuss a severance package. My reply was something on the order of "Sever this and stick it up your-" but the mediator said she couldn't relay that.

Anyway, I learned the difference between a mediator and an arbitrator ... being someone even more disdainful (and, therefore, ignorant) of legal matters than I am of biology (ick!, give me physics any day!). An arbitrator has some power, a mediator has none. Until I realized this, I was pretty down and feeling that the EEOC had let me down. But there really was nothing they could do to the slimeballs. I wound up apologizing to the EEOC mediator -- I said I could only imagine how frustrating her job must be ... she said most cases wind up doing just what these slimeballs did. I wouldn't take her job for the world!

So now the case goes back to the investigations division of the EEOC and I have somewhere under 140 days to wait before I can get my Right to Sue letter. So, what am I doing in the mean time?

(1) My organization gets grants from state and federal agencies. These agencies require their fundees to comply with non-discrimination laws. They have their own investigation units into violations of such compliance. I've already started my letter writing campaign.

(2) While the management of my organization seems to think itself immune from any self-scrutiny, as an influential non-profit in NYC it has a number of advisory boards consisting of influential members of the community. Some of these advisory boards are exactly that. The Board of Governors, on the other hand, does have some power in the, well, governance of the organization. In terms of who is on the Board ... well, a past chair of the BoG is the director of a rather distinguished and influential cancer research & treatment facility here in NYC. The current chair is a former US Representative from the wealthiest district in the city. He used to be the chair of the subcommittee that advised my department (Education). The current chair of that committee (and one of the BoG) used to be the little girl for whom a line of desserts was named, and let me tell you, nobody doesn't like her. Other members of the education committee include prominent folk from other non-profits, directors of museums, highly placed folk in the Board of Education, and local experts on science education.

So, while my slimy bosses don't think that they're answerable to anyone below them, they've forgotten who is above them. And those above the slimemasters will be hearing from me as well.

Yes, I know. I'm not going to use any references to "slime". I'm one of the many folks here who are ABD and have learned how to construct an argument whose prose sounds objective and unbiased but still presents my side of the story while ripping theirs to shreds. In my doctoral program, the favorite pasttime of our faculty was ripping graduate students' arguments to shreds so we'd eventually develop not just a parry for every thrust of theirs, but a counter-attack. I used to call it "saber-rattling", and I'm rather good at it.

(3) I was going to give them, as "required" by our Employee's Handbook, my two-week notice last Friday, which would run me through to December 31. Then, my darling ex-lawyer girlfriend reminded me that they haven't done a single thing by that book, so why should I? I have had several job offers (1) from folks who know my work and so (2) could not care less about the opinion of my supervisor, so why play by their rules? I need my insurance, and now that I'm actually trying to leave for another job I don't need the slimemasters doing something, well, slimy, like cutting off my benefits. They'll get my notice the day I begin work for my next job. Right now, there are two contenders. It looked like I was going to take a teaching position, since the job I really wanted (with a HUGE educational research non-profit) has been delayed by their losing a few grants. This is stuck in some typical redtape for now, but it should be ironed out soon in the new year (another good reason for not turning in my notice). This job will probably mean a salary increase of $15-20K. On the Solstice, tho, I got a call from a tech headhunter I had floated my resume by. She's lining me up for a position as a web production manager. Very cool sort of job, IMO, and coming on the Solstice it seems like a good omen for a career rebirth/change. Oh, and the going rate in NYC for people in this job category is 40%-100% more than what I am making right now. The job she has me lined up for is one of those at the high end.

So. let's see ... stay in my current job and get harassed, or take a new job and get my pay doubled? Can anyone help me with this decision?

(4) Oh, last thing on the job front. I've been marshalling the forces. When I filed my complaint with the EEOC, I gave them a list of about 40 references of folks who could contradict claims the slimemasters might make. I've been letting them know in the last few weeks that I was leaving and why I was leaving. They've all said that they've noticed somethign wasn't right and they're all behind me. So, "delusions of grandeur" are apparently NOT one of my symptoms.

In sum for the job thing, I may just have about three big sledgehammers, maybe four, about to hit my bosses from different directions -- federal funding agencies, state funding agencies, the EEOC investigations unit, their Board of Governors and other advisory panels. If I score the sweet web job, I may even have some money to pursue state and city civil rights violations (God, I love NY) in the time I'm waiting for the federal right to sue letter. Plus, I'll be out of the organization, so I'll be out of their reach. And when it comes to filling my position -- well, as they say, my boss made this bed, now she's going to have to lie in it.

As for the treament front:
(1) As I mentioned elsewhere, it's day two of wellbutrin (75mg/d, non-SR, in the AM with my clonazepam). Biggest effect so far is that I've had enough energy to do the dishes and my as-usual-last-minute shopping, but I hit 6PM and I pass out. Of course, the passout may be normal after days like my last two. The energy may be due to point 2 below. But we'll see.

(2) I'm entering my second week with my CPAP machine. Actually getting most of a good night's sleep may have more to do with my increase in energy. I'm not falling asleep on the subway anymore, for one. Oh, the "mostly" bit. I'm having a bit of a claustraphobic reaction to the thing. Maybe those out there also using CPAP machines can relate. I keep worrying that there's a crimp in the air tube (it's fine) or that the filter is clogged (it's fine) or that there just isn't any air blowing (opening my mouth and trying to talk proves that wrong! what a weird feeling!). Then it feels like the pressure is too much and I can't exhale. Somehow, I finally fall asleep, but I'll wake up once or twice a night to find the mask removed and resting on my nightstand, air still blowing. And THEN, the other night ... well, some of you with CPAP machines who get freaked by horror movies may not want to read this, so just scroll down without reading ...

... okay, here comes the gross horror movie bit, so don't look!
Anyway, you know how in space, no one can hear you scream? Well, I had this vision of my CPAP machine turning into that thing from the movie "Alien" and there it was, strapped onto my face. Any CPAPers relate to that? aCk! 8^P

... it's okay for the squeemish to look again.

Anyway, I'm free at last from SSRIs, back on Wellbutrin and hoping for some of those good side effects like weight loss, sleeping soundlessly enough so that my girlfriend isn't poking me in the ribs in the middle of the night anymore (and my dogs haven't attacked me while I'm wearing my mask)

... and my latest bloodtest came back with a blood glucose level of 170.

(In case you don't know, like I didn't, that is *well* into the diabetic range)

So I got to have a glucose tolerance test done yesterday ... too much fun! First you fast for 12 hours, then you get your blood drawn, then you drink this bottle of pure glucose with a little carbonation and orange flavoring (on an empty stomach), then you get your blood drawn twice more on hour intervals. Good thing I no longer faint at getting stuck. Well, not since I learned to stop watching and learned some relation techniques, like not trying to curl my toes up like the wicked witch of the east sans ruby slippers.

So, I'm taking bets: is the 170 a lab error, since I've never had a glucose level anywhere near that? is it a valid reading, coming from being 40-50lbs overweight for the year+ I was on zoloft? or was it some weird reaction caused by the rice milk I now have to put on my breakfast cereal (that's the only dietary change between my last two blood tests)?

Well, if you've gotten this far, you deserve a reward--I'll stop now ;^). Thanks for listening to the latest installment of As Bob's Life Churns. Stay tuned to see if I can get the big bucks with no whammies.





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